Ohhhhhh Lawdy. I’ve done did it now. I have signed myself up for some ridiculous shit in the past, but this weekend might be one of the more ridiculous things I have up and decided I am capable of doing.
On Saturday I will take part in the Rasputitsa (aka Russian for Mud Season… loose translation: “quagmire season”), a 40(ish) mile gravel road race in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Now, before we address your raised eyebrows and the obvious question at hand (what in the f@*&$$$$#k made me think this was a good idea?) There is one thing that MUST be addressed:
I have googled this to no avail (disclaimer… I didn’t try very hard). So, we just make up a different pronunciation every time. I would love to know the real way though.
Whatever. Someone tell me. And I digress…. anyway, back to it.
Gravel road race, I thought. Could be fun, I thought. What a challenge, I thought! So I signed up. And then thought about what gravel road “race” (aka fast-ish bike ride because let’s face it… bike racing ain’t my strong point) in April…. in Vermont… would mean. It’s always best if I think about the details after I’m committed. I do my best work this way.
|photo from Rasputitsa Facebook|
I imagine it will feel like I will be trying to ride my bicycle through some combination of what will likely feel like a slush puddle, quicksand, pot of Elmer’s glue, or all of the above all at once. Should be amazing. No, really.
I googled pictures. I checked their Facebook. I looked at the Strava route and elevation profile. I read some recon reports (like the fantastic blog post here). I checked the weather. I checked the weather again. I checked the weather again. I panicked. What bike do I use!? What was I THINKING!? These people are hard core!
|Yeah… I dunno. There are some big pointy things on that elevation chart.|
|This forecast? Has been different EVERY time I’ve looked at it. Ay, yi, yi|
And then I got my shit together and realized it’s going to be challenging. It’s going to be sloppy. It’s going to be a bit of a suffer-fest. And I am GOOD at that. Most of all? It’s going to be freaking FUN. And it benefits a great cause – the Halo Foundation, which helps provide resources to local community members with cancer. Cancer sucks. Bikes don’t.
So I poured myself a beer, made my packing list, and wrote this while drinking said beer. CHEERS! See ya in the mud. I decided to play it safe and ride my trusty old Giant xtc hardtail mountain bike. I am no expert, but I know how to mountain bike in the mud. So here we go! I hear there will be maple syrup… and donuts… and beer. What more could a girl ask for??